Permits/Visas for Non-EU Nationals

Understand which visas/permits you will need if you are from a non-EU country...

Nationals from a number of countries included on the Visa Nationals list must apply for the appropriate visa before coming to the UK to visit, work, or for any other reason. This can be done online, at their nearest visa application centre or at the appropriate British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate in their place of residence. Visas can be applied for up to three months before the intended date of travel.

Before applying, a biometric test must have taken at the nearest visa application centre. A biometric test is a 10 digit finger scan and a digital photograph. An application will only be processed when this data has been collected and verified.

A visa application must be made for each member of the family, including children.

Documents required may vary for the specific visa and country from which a person travels, but all include:

  • Passport
  • Passport sized colour photograph
  • Evidence of finances to fund the trip
  • Visa fee
  • Marriage/divorce certificate

In most cases, citizens can stay in the UK for up to six months, provided they do not work. They can work if they have the correct visa and work permit.

Extending a stay


All applications to extend a stay, whether as a general visitor, employee or
other, must be made in the UK, at least four weeks before the permission to stay
in the UK ends. It can be made by post or in person. If the permission to stay
has already ended, a person has to leave the country and reapply for
the relevant visa at a British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission.


Most general visitors are allowed to stay in the UK for up to six months. The
only exception is if they are accompanying someone who has come to the
country to study, or teach.



  • For further information on staying as a general visitor: Click
    here


The time a person is allowed to stay in the UK is stamped in the passport on
arrival. To apply for an extension of stay a person must fill in an
application form called FLR(O). This is available online: Click
here
(PDF)



  • For comprehensive information on extending a stay in the UK:
    Click here


Applications are sent to the following postal address:



  • UK Border Agency

    Leave to Remain FLR(O)

    PO Box 495

    Durham

    DH99 1WR


To apply in person, make an appointment at one of the Government's public
enquiry offices in Cardiff, Croydon, Glasgow, Liverpool, Sheffield or Solihull.
The addresses can be found on the application form.


In some cases when extending temporary permission to stay, a person will
need to apply for a biometric residence permit, formerly known as an ID card for
foreign nationals. When applying for an extension to stay the application form informs the person
whether this permit is needed.



  • For comprehensive information and to find out who needs a biometric
    residence permit: Click
    here


The biometric permit confirms the person's identity and is evidence of
permission to stay in the UK.


Non-EU citizens with permanent residency in an EU country


Contrary to the EU directive, the UK does not accept residence permits or
cards issued by other EU countries. Citizens of non-EU countries who have been
granted residency in an EU country will be treated as other applicants from
their native country.


Health Screens


Applicants for visas for longer than six months from certain countries require a
certificate to show that they are free from tuberculosis (TB). These countries
include:



  • Bangladesh

  • Ghana

  • Kenya

  • Pakistan

  • Sudan

  • Thailand
  •  

     








Extending a stay

All applications to extend a stay, whether as a general visitor, employee or other, must be made in the UK, at least four weeks before the permission to stay in the UK ends. It can be made by post or in person. If the permission to stay has already ended, a person has to leave the country and reapply for the relevant visa at a British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission.

Most general visitors are allowed to stay in the UK for up to six months. The only exception is if they are accompanying someone who has come to the country to study, or teach.

The time a person is allowed to stay in the UK is stamped in the passport on arrival. To apply for an extension of stay a person must fill in an application form called FLR(O). This is available online (PDF)

Applications are sent to the following postal address:

  • UK Border Agency
    Leave to Remain FLR(O)
    PO Box 495
    Durham
    DH99 1WR

To apply in person, make an appointment at one of the Government's public enquiry offices in Cardiff, Croydon, Glasgow, Liverpool, Sheffield or Solihull. The addresses can be found on the application form.

In some cases when extending temporary permission to stay, a person will need to apply for a biometric residence permit, formerly known as an ID card for foreign nationals. When applying for an extension to stay the application form informs the person whether this permit is needed.

The biometric permit confirms the person's identity and is evidence of permission to stay in the UK.

Non-EU citizens with permanent residency in an EU country

Contrary to the EU directive, the UK does not accept residence permits or cards issued by other EU countries. Citizens of non-EU countries who have been granted residency in an EU country will be treated as other applicants from their native country.

Health Screens

Applicants for visas for longer than six months from certain countries require a certificate to show that they are free from tuberculosis (TB). These countries include:

  • Bangladesh
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Pakistan
  • Sudan
  • Thailand